Category: Automakers

Mercedes-Benz B200. According To The Law Of A Sandwich

2023

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Video: Mercedes-Benz B200. According To The Law Of A Sandwich
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Mercedes-Benz B200. According To The Law Of A Sandwich
Mercedes-Benz B200. According To The Law Of A Sandwich
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VARIATIONS ON THE TOPIC

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So, more closely: the first … second … third … Or is it still the second? Damn, I was tortured to track transfers on this "machine"! A preliminary acquaintance clarified a bit - the stepless Autotronic variator has seven virtually fixed steps. In fact, these programs are rather priority than fixed.

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In manual control mode, they are held quite clearly, although you should not pull up to the red zone of the tachometer - having received almost simultaneous signals from the speed limiter and the driver, the box will take the order literally and go up two steps at once. But in the automatic mode, everything works perfectly: the tachometer needle nods slightly, a quiet motor barely audibly changes the tone, there are no plugs when switching. I have not seen such a convenient and responsive “automatic machine”. Essentially, steps are needed only for one purpose - so that the driver does not get bored with the monotonous song of the motor on a single note. So there can be seven, ten, and seventeen transmissions - everything is decided by electronics, but it is simply impossible to control it by ear.

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Two-liter engine in 136 hp it is capable of accelerating a small Mercedes to 100 km / h in 10.2 s - to realize such dynamics, the engine reaches maximum power speed, and the variator operates in stepless mode.

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This Mercedes is capable of driving dynamically! What is the parabolic rear suspension, combining compactness and precise kinematics. The selective damping system makes the shock absorbers stiffer in corners, reducing body roll. And the Steer Control auxiliary control system can, for example, turn the steering wheel itself to level the machine when braking on a “mixed” track. Although the electric power can be blamed for excessive helpfulness - quite tight at high speed, the steering wheel becomes almost weightless with its decrease.

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Standard equipment includes a tire pressure sensor (and rain and light sensors on our car), adaptive front airbags, belt tensioners on the front and rear side seats, active head restraints. I was surprised by the “special series” for 33 thousand euros: the B-class is equipped only with simple air conditioning, fabric upholstery, leatherette inserts, and power windows at the rear. In addition to these amenities, the package includes a suspension with increased clearance (actually measured just 115 mm), heated front seats and windshield washers, alloy wheels.

CONCEPT, HOWEVER

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Yeah! I haven’t seen such an ambiguous car for a long time - after all, most modern cars are made like a carbon copy. Even having opened the driver's door, he did not notice the catch - a pretty stylish interior, austere and rich. And only when I tried to drive, it dawned - the floor was unusual, incredibly high!

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To be precise, 430 mm from the asphalt - almost like an all-terrain vehicle! But for all-terrain vehicles, the overall height is corresponding - in growth, or even more, so that the cabin remains quite enough. Here, the body is on the shoulder, and the internal height is no more than that of a passenger car - there is no need to talk about the Mini-Van space. But the landing is completely passenger - more horizontal, with outstretched legs and an almost vertical arrangement of the steering wheel.

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As far as the transformation is concerned, it’s also clearly not a “car”: you don’t have any boxes, shelves, little tables, little screens, there are no separate armchairs, nor rear adjustments. Only a medium-sized glove box, a tiny boxed armrest in the middle and a folding rear seat, divided in a proportion of 40:60. Well, the boot floor can be raised a dozen centimeters by leveling the cargo area. And that’s all!

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Why is that? Sandwich Platform Concept! From the point of view of marketing, the presence of a certain special concept is a powerful move to highlight the Compact Sport Tourer (as Mercedes classifies the new product) among the mass of mini-vans. But this is not an end in itself, but a means of achieving new, higher consumer qualities. So it was in 1996, when the A-class Mercedes debuted: the “sandwich” design made it possible to hide many elements under the high floor and offer an unusually spacious interior in a car with a length of only 3, 560 mm.

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The new B-class is much larger, and with a length of 4270 mm there is no need to pay such a high price - to raise the floor level and give up the possibility of transforming the cabin due to the almost horizontal power unit squeezed from below. About 70 cm separates it from the bumper - it would be quite enough for the usual layout, which is much more convenient in maintenance.

A sandwich construction would be more suitable for some kind of hybrid for placement of batteries, fuel cells or gas cylinders. Here, in my opinion, it turned out to be unclaimed - the voluminous basement simply has nothing to occupy. A gas tank, a battery, an exhaust system - that's all. And for the latter, just a giant tunnel is fenced off, three times more than is really necessary. However, one important advantage of such a scheme is its better passive safety, since passengers are located above the zone of possible collision with an ordinary passenger car.

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“Mercedes” is a special brand, it has won the right to establish its own canons - remember at least the fashion for round headlights revived in the previous E-class. So maybe the engineers from Stuttgart showed the world a new layout revelation? Or did you play with the concept?

MERCEDES-BENZ B200

The five-seater front-wheel minivan, built on an enlarged A-class platform, debuted in the spring of 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Engines: gasoline 1.5–2.0 liters (95–193 hp), turbodiesels 2.0 liters (109 and 140 hp).

Transmissions: 5- or 6-speed manual, continuously variable variator.

Options: basic plus additional equipment, as well as a special series for Russia.

Price in Russia: Є23, 600-33, 000 ($ 29, 000–40, 600).

Test car: 2.0 L, 136 hp, Autotronic continuously variable variator, special series, Є33, 000 ($ 40, 600).

SUMMARY

The Mercedes V-class is a collection of conflicting qualities: appearance - like a minivan, comfort level, interior volume and driving quality - like a passenger car.

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